Munich – Bayern versus Barça: It wasn’t long ago that football fans from all over the world would have left everything behind for this game, without hesitation, beheaded the piggy bank and ordered a ticket or the pay TV channel.
Tempi passati: When on Wednesday evening (9 p.m., DAZN and in the AZ live ticker) Bayern Munich, who has long since qualified for the next round, receives in front of pandemic empty ranks against the table seventh in the Spanish league, many people at home will consider whether “file number XY… unsolved “or” TV total “is not more exciting or fun.
Barcelona are fighting against the preliminary round
There was once: When fathers rave about this once magical FC Barcelona to their children, nowadays it is imperative that they send exactly these three words in advance. Because at the latest since Bayern’s monumental 8-2 victory in the Champions League quarter-finals against Catalans, who were already in the process of disintegration, in August last year, the footballing lucky bag of yore has developed into an almost hopeless crisis.
While the badly battered Barcelona is fighting desperately against the first qualifying round in 21 years, the proud Bavarians have long been set as the undisputed season winners for the round of 16 draw next Monday.
FC Barcelona with the German national goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is under massive pressure: If the first win in Munich is not achieved in the sixth attempt, competitor Benfica Lisbon on Wednesday evening is enough to win against Dynamo Kiev. And the five-time Champions League winner would be relegated to the Europa League. “We have to fight like animals,” says coach Xavi.
Debt of 1.35 billion euros
Nafter the sobering 0-1 home defeat last weekend against Betis Sevilla – and only seventh in the Spanish league behind the no-name team Rayo Vallecano, the initial euphoria about the former midfield maestro and successor to the Dutchman Ronald Koeman has long since vanished. For Barça, more than 20 million euros are at stake in the Allianz Arena – a lot of money, especially in view of the elusive 1.35 billion euros in debt. “Our goal is to win,” said Xavi, “we have no other choice.”
However, the last Barça win against the German record champions was a long time ago: On May 6, 2015 Messi & Co. won the semi-final first leg of the premier class 3-0. The Munich team had long-forgotten players like Benatia, Bernat and Alonso as well as Lahm and Schweinsteiger on the pitch, while Messi (2) and Neymar met for the Spaniards.
Does Coutinho show his class against Bayern?
The two super stars still play together today, but in a completely different cosmos: that of Paris St. Germain. And as painful as saying goodbye to his heart club might have been for the Argentine permanent world footballer: He will be very happy to have put enough kilometers between himself and this chaos club.
But who knows: Perhaps the truly not unsentimental football god will let himself be carried away with a fairytale comeback again. Perhaps, of all people, an ex-Bavarian shows why it was once more than 100 million euros expensive: A player named Coutinho is expected in Barca’s starting team.